Startled, the children look out through the hole in the Crofter’s Hedge. It
has really gone dark outside! A cyclist rushes past as if nothing has
happened, with lights both front and rear, and reflexes on the wheels.
“What do we do now?”, Joppe wonders. “We mustn’t miss school”, says
Salim. “We’d better keep walking”, suggests Tuva. They take their reflexes
out of their pockets and put them on. Tuva knows that the reflexes should
be placed quite low so that they move as you walk. Salim has hi-viz vests
to lend to the others. It feels both strange and exciting to continue walking
in the darkness. Now they notice that there are a lot more leaves on the
When they think about it it feels more like autumn and it is quite cold.
There is thin ice forming on the Swan Pond. Fortunately, they are wearing
enough clothing to keep them warm. They zip up their coats and put their
hands in their pockets. By the zebra crossing, they wait for the cars to
pass. In the dark, you have to make sure to establish eye contact with the
drivers who stop. On the other side of the road, they meet their neighbour
Eva out on her usual morning walk with her dog Charlie, who is wearing a
luminous collar as well as a hi-viz vest! The children cannot help stopping
and saying hello to Charlie, whom they often play with down at the football
field. But they say nothing to Eva about the tunnel in the Crofter’s Hedge,
and that the season suddenly seems to have changed. Eva just laughs as
usual and says that they must hurry to school now.
At the big T-junction, there are traffic lights. While they are waiting, they
see a girl jogging towards them who is not wearing any reflexes. “I wonder
if she realises that she is not very visible in the dark”, says Joppe. “If she
did, she would probably never consider running along the road”, says
Salim. “We’re lucky to have reflexes!”, says Tuva. The light turns green and
the children start crossing the road. But something strange happens when
they reach the other side.
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